For Wheelgun Wedesday I present the Mateba Unica 6.  The revolver that the Chiappa Rhino was based upon. For those not familiar with Ghisoni’s work go check out for more info and video.

TYPE: Double-action/single action semi-automatic revolver
CALIBER: .357 magnum/.38 special, .44 magnum/.44 special, .454 Casull/.45 Long Colt
CAPACITY: 6 rounds
WEIGHT: 52.8oz/1498g
CONSTRUCTION: Blued or nickeled steel, wood grips (nickel only produced through 2002)
BARREL LENGTH: 3″, 4″, 6″ and 8″ interchangeable barrels available; .44 magnum and .454 Casull typically had compensators (note: the Mateba Grifone was a carbine variation of the Unica with an 18″ barrel)
AMERICAN IMPORTERS: American Western Arms, American Arms International, Pars International
IMPORTATION HISTORY: I’ve heard there are 1600 in the country, in different calibers, but that seems a little low and I can’t verify it. After importation ceased, CDNN Investments in Abilene, TX, sold off remaining quantities, parts and barrels at discount rates.


  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Abilene, my hometown!

    (never go there. it blows. seriously)

    • wildman0708

      About the only reason I could think of going to Abilene would be for some Joe Allen’s pit BBQ.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        You can get better BBQ at Franklins in Austin, Killens in Pearland or Coopers in Llano.
        A steak with cowboy potatoes at the Perini Ranch in Buffalo Gap is worth a drive but I only do that once a year for dinner on Xmas eve.

    • gusto

      dude it is still Texas. I dream of living in Texas (:

      how far from a helicopter hog hunting place can it be?

      • Justin Roney

        Exactly. I’d much rather be in Abilene than a lot of other places I’ve been to. Thus why I live north of Dallas. 🙂

      • Feral higs are classified as Introduced Exotics by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and there are essentially no state-level restrictions on killing them aside from the general prohibition of discharging firearms on public roadways; you can hunt the %#$& things from a helicopter anywhere outside of municipal city limits if you have the permission of the landowner.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Hog hunting is mainly in South Texas so quite a drive. If you want to live in Texas and hunt hogs might as well move to Victoria or Port Lavaca. Theres nothing in Abilene worth seeing.

    • Abileeene
      Flattest town
      I ever seen

      • iksnilol

        Never been to Denmark, have you ?

        • mazkact

          Or Houma, LA.

          • BrandonAKsALot

            Second. I limit my time in Houma to the amount it takes to drive through.

  • GG

    the correct name is “Mateba 6 unica”, can be translated in english as “you are unique”

  • D

    Looks Like a much better grip and grip angle than the Chiapa

    • Giolli Joker

      The Rhino is designed to minimize the bore axis height, this one not.
      Did you shoot the Rhino? If you’re used to conventional revolvers it takes some practice, but grip and its angle are actually great.

      • ostiariusalpha

        In fairness, the Sei Unica has a pretty low bore axis.

        • Giolli Joker

          Yep, it does.
          But it was meant to be a semiautomatic revolver with a low bore axis.
          The Rhino was born to be the revolver with the lowest bore axis and most of its peculiar features (patented) are related to ergonomics.

    • Swarf

      Looks like a much better everything than the Chiappa.

  • BattleshipGrey

    The first time I saw a Mateba was in the original Ghost in the Shell movie, and then in the following GitS TV show. It should be getting some good coverage in the up coming live action version as well… if the producers know what’s good for them.

    • ??
      • Anonymoose
        • ??

          “Well, the breech and the barrel’s really screwed up. That’s what happens when you use HV bullets in one of these things.”

          • ostiariusalpha

            Some smart arses like to make fun of that line. Now the van blowing up is patently ridiculous (unless the Major was storing some MacGruber-grade plastic explosives in there), but if you were to fire 7N31 from a gun not designed for it, you would very probably ruin the rifling and egg out the chamber. To me that line always seems very prescient, as 7N31 was still in the future when the movie came out.

          • JSmath

            You said what I was going to/wanted to, so thank you.

            It was a narrative point the ammo used wasn’t white box FMJs but distinctly and dangerously hot loads, since it’d otherwise have meant nothing to almost the team’s almost entirely robotic bodies.

          • ??

            Good point. It would be interesting to find the actual operating pressure of the 7n31. I can’t seem to find any real data.

        • Schmiss

          The mateba Togusa carries is based off of the 2006M which is a regular revolver with a six o clock barrel. Not an automatic like the Unica.

          • Anonymoose

            That was a line from the first GitS, where Togusa puts a .38cal tracking device in a car’s bumper, and the Major claims he could have shot at least 3 tracking devices in that car if he was using the standard-issue CZ100.

    • Nomar Abdiel Vazquez Vazquez

      But I remember Togusa mentioning that his revolver used nine-milimiter rounds.

      • Gunhead

        Teeeechnically .357 Magnum and .38 special are “9mm caliber”.

      • iksnilol

        .357 and .38 are 9mm in diameter.

        • Nomar Abdiel Vazquez Vazquez


    • If the producers of that live action turd knew what was good for them, they would have fired their casting director.

      Out of a catapult.

  • RicoSuave

    Seems perfect for Blade Runner 2049 !

    • Martin M

      Will we finally have flying cars?

      • Considering how dangerous the morons on my daily commute are at ground level, I sure as heck hope not.

        • mazkact

          I hope they never come to Houston.

        • DW

          But…Darwin awards…

  • MrFN

    If I ever can, I’m going to either buy or homebrew one of these. There are few other guns I nerd out as much over than a Mateba.

    • Nunya Bidniz

      Still think that there’s *got* to be a place for a Mateba & Webley-Fosberry love-child in this world…

  • Giolli Joker

    6 Unica, not Unica 6.
    6 Unica in Italian reads as “sei unica” = “you’re unique”.
    And no, the Chiappa Rhino is not based on it.

    • Darren Hruska

      Now, tell me what “Chiappa” translates to! XD

      • Giolli Joker

        Eheheheheh… well, it’s a surname.
        However: buttock.

    • Nunya Bidniz

      Except that it is, in the sense that Ghisoni designed the Rhino with the same 6 o’clock firing, and simplified everything so that there would be some hope of making them inexpensive enough that people would *buy* some. No real need for a semi-auto revolver, so the Rhino is just a plain old revolving revolver of revolver-like revolverness. Except of course for the striker-firing, inability to do quick cylinder-swap reloads and the lamentable build quality from Chiappa [ie: nowhere near up to the Mateba standard of manufacture!]

      • Giolli Joker

        Except that Antonio Cudazzo is the main father of the Rhino, that it’s design (and patent) is focused on ergonomics and that it has internal hammer, not a striker…
        Ghisoni designed quite a few non semi-auto revolvers, but his focus has always been more geared to target shooting. The Rhino was born as a defense pistol. Chiappa got on board much later, btw.

  • AD

    Love the Mateba. I’ve seen photos of versions fitted with shoulder stocks and long barrels for use as rifles; I wonder if those suffer from issues with the cylinder gap?

    • Giolli Joker

      It’s the Grifone, mentioned in the article.
      It had a piece of steel by the cylinder meant to direct the gasses upward and forward, away from the shooter hands.

  • Alex

    Just an update of the webley fosbery concept. Still cool

  • Darren Hruska

    The Mateba Sei Unica will always be my dream handgun! Always!

  • Secundius

    Nice! New Born or Right Hand…

  • Sledgecrowbar

    The Rhino may be a great gun, but saying it’s based on the Mateba is like saying the Chevette is based on the Chevelle. Just because they fire from the six o’clock cylinder doesn’t make them blood-related.

  • LCON

    On that Photo All I can say is… Blade Runner much?